cnotes Posts:33043 Followers:38
05/19/2013 02:43 AM

Chargers, Freeney agree to 2-year deal

May 18, 2013

SAN DIEGO (AP) - The San Diego Chargers agreed Saturday to a two-year deal with aging star pass rusher Dwight Freeney that could be worth $13.35 million.

The deal to bring Freeney to the Chargers came four days after outside linebacker Melvin Ingram tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in a padless practice.

The addition of Freeney also helps cushion the loss of outside linebackers Antwan Barnes and Shaun Phillips to free agency.

``It's great to add a solid veteran who brings valuable experience to our defense,'' Chargers coach Mike McCoy said in the release announcing the deal. ``His proven pass-rush ability is a perfect fit for our defense.''

Freeney is 33 and entering his 12th season. He will make $5.25 million this season.

He was Indianapolis' career sacks leader with 107 1/2 but the Colts decided not to re-sign him in the offseason. After recording 13 1/2 sacks in 2009, his totals declined each of the past three years. He had five in 2012.

Freeney, a seven-time Pro Bowler, never seemed comfortable after moving from a 4-3 defensive end, where he spent his first 10 NFL seasons, to a 3-4 outside linebacker. The Chargers run a 3-4 defense.

Freeney was the 11th overall selection in the 2002 draft. During his time with the Colts, he combined with Robert Mathis to form one of the most fearsome pass-rush tandems in the league. His 44 forced fumbles are the most by any NFL player since 2002 and he was one of 13 players in Colts' history to participate in more than 100 victories.

Freeney led the NFL with 16 sacks in 2004.

Chargers rookie general manager Tom Telesco was with the Colts before being hired by San Diego in January.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:33043 Followers:38
05/19/2013 02:47 AM

AFC North Outlook

May 8, 2013

AFC East · AFC North · AFC South · AFC West
NFC East · NFC North · NFC North · NFC West

The NFL draft steals most of the attention in April and May but the recent release of the NFL schedules is more telling factor in the potential results this season. Take a look at the four teams in the AFC North in this schedule preview. This has been a competitive 3-team race in recent years and the North could again be a very competitive division with the Ravens, Bengals, and Steelers still standing out ahead of the Browns. The difference between making the playoffs and not making the playoffs could be very thin in this division and the schedules will play a pivotal role.

Baltimore Ravens: The defending Super Bowl champions will face a tough slate in 2013 drawing Houston and Denver outside of the division and also having to battle all four NFC North teams. The AFC East draw softens the slate a bit potentially but the Ravens have the fifth toughest schedule in the NFL based on the 2012 win percentage of its opponents and by far the toughest slate in the AFC North by that measure. The season opens with a huge Thursday night game in Denver in a rematch of the epic playoff game from last season and the Ravens have several big games early in the season, with games against the Broncos, Browns, Texans, Packers, and Steelers in the first seven weeks. Baltimore only plays two games outside of the Eastern Time zone and the travel overall is pretty reasonable relative to the rest of the league. While there are some tough games late in the season four of the final six games of the season are at home and the Ravens will only play one road games outside of the division against a team that made the playoffs last season.

In the NFC draw the two NFC North playoff teams (Packers Vikings) from last season will both visit Baltimore and the Ravens also get to host New England in the AFC East draw as those pairings worked out favorably. The Ravens were just 10-6 last season despite the championship run so this was not a team that dominated in the regular season and with this slate a similar record is more likely than a record that would propel the Ravens to the top of the AFC. A fall to outside of the playoff picture is also possible if the Steelers rebound for a better season and the Bengals remain a very tough foe in the division.

Baltimore went 4-2 in division games last season and it will be tough to do better than that given the strong rivalries and home fields in this group as the AFC North was one of just two divisions that did not feature a team with a losing home record last year. Cincinnati and Pittsburgh could make up some ground on the Ravens and a letdown season after the championship is certainly possible. Baltimore does benefit from having most of the toughest games at home however, unlike the situation for Pittsburgh.

Baltimore Ravens 2013 Schedule Numbers:
2013 Opponents Win Percentage in 2012: .535
Games vs. 2012 Playoff Teams: 7 (five home, two away)
Miles Traveled for 8 road/neutral games: 5,553
Back-to-Back road game sets: 1
Primetime Games: 4 (two Thursday, one Sunday night, one Monday)

Cincinnati Bengals: The Bengals have busted into the playoffs the past two seasons though they have not picked up a playoff win since 1991 and Boomer Esiason was still under center. Cincinnati appears to be headed towards being a consistent playoff contender however after being a consistent doormat for many years with a great young nucleus of talent. Cincinnati actually had the best point differential in this division last season, better than the eventual Super Bowl champion Ravens and sights on a division title are realistic. The schedule for the Bengals this season lines up most of the toughest games at home but it may be a slate that is more difficult than it looks at first glance.

The challenge for Cincinnati this season will be surviving the first month of the season as the early season schedule is very tough. The Bengals open at Chicago and while the Bears are in a transition season with a new head coach, expectations are high and the Bears have a lot to prove. The next two games are at home but the Bengals host Pittsburgh and Green Bay. In Week 4 the Bengals are at Cleveland in a big rivalry game and then in Week 5 the Bengals host New England. That could be a five-game set that derails the goals for the season or brings the Bengals to the forefront of the AFC. Cincinnati plays non-playoff teams in five of six games in the middle of the season and will get three of the final four at home to close the year.

Five of eight home games for the Bengals are against 2012 playoff teams and the road schedule may be more difficult than the numbers imply as the Bears, Steelers, and Chargers should be viewed as playoff caliber teams even though they missed the postseason last year. Cincinnati won five games by seven or fewer points last season and it may be a season of close calls again this year with the line between being back in the playoffs and missing out being a thin one in a very competitive division.

Cincinnati Bengals 2013 Schedule Numbers:
2013 Opponents Win Percentage in 2012: .508
Games vs. 2012 Playoff Teams: 6 (five home, one away)
Miles Traveled for 8 road/neutral games: 5,446
Back-to-Back road game sets: 2
Primetime Games: 3 (one Thursday, one Sunday night, one Monday)

Cleveland Browns: In this division it will be tough for the Browns to move up and the 2013 schedule does not offer Cleveland great opportunities. Cleveland has gone 1-7 on the road each of the past two seasons and the Browns line up an incredibly difficult road schedule this season, facing five 2012 playoff teams. Two of the road games against non-playoff teams will come in the second of back-to-back road games and another 1-7 road season is certainly a possibility. The Browns are the only team in the division to draw Kansas City and Jacksonville which is certainly an advantage but the Chiefs could be a candidate for quick improvement and that matchup will also be a second straight road game for the Browns.

Cleveland will travel very few miles this season which could boost the chances of improving the season road record as the Browns won’t play a game outside of the Central or Eastern Time zones. Another edge the Browns may have in the schedule is that there is an opportunity for Cleveland to get off to a strong start this season with four of the first six games at home and three of those home games coming against fellow losing teams from 2012. A strong start could build some confidence for this team and the Browns won the home meetings with both Pittsburgh and Cincinnati last season as they may be able to take another step towards closing the gap in the division with the top three teams.

The Browns were just 5-11 last season but they were only outscored by just over four points per game on average for the season and the defense was respectable allowing 23 points per game. Cleveland has such a tough road schedule this season that major improvement seems unlikely but the Browns could produce a strong record at home with most of the favorable matchups coming in Cleveland. Getting into playoff position seems like a long shot but the Browns could be a team that sees a slight improvement and could even flirt with a .500 record should things fall favorably with the schedule being a factor in the improvement.

Cleveland Browns 2013 Schedule Numbers:
2013 Opponents Win Percentage in 2012: .492
Games vs. 2012 Playoff Teams: 7 (two home, five away)
Miles Traveled for 8 road/neutral games: 3,990
Back-to-Back road game sets: 3
Primetime Games: 1 (one Thursday)

Pittsburgh Steelers: After a disappointing and injury filled 2012 season the Steelers seem like an appealing candidate for a bounce back season. Pittsburgh had one of the best defensive teams in the NFL last season but managed to go just 8-8 on the season, missing the playoffs and sliding into the third place slot in this division. Getting to play Tennessee and Oakland in the 3rd place draw is favorable and the Steelers will only play seven true road games with a trip to London in Week 4. Pittsburgh will play most of its toughest games on the road with a home schedule that only features two playoff teams, the two teams that made the postseason from the AFC North last season. Pittsburgh faces a slate that features the same 2012 winning percentage as Cleveland’s 4th place schedule which could make Pittsburgh a candidate to rise to the top of this division. Pittsburgh did lose three times at home last season but this is also a team that historically has been able to win on the road with some success as well.

Pittsburgh will have several very tough road matchups and the road games at New England and at Baltimore will both come in the second of back-to-back road games. Pittsburgh does close with three of the final four games of the season at home which could help a late playoff push if needed though a challenging
Week 16 game at Green Bay is ahead and that game follows up a possible Sunday night tilt with the Bengals. The road game at Baltimore is not only the second of back-to-back road games it comes on the heels of a division game with the Browns and will be on a short week with a Thursday night time slot so the Steelers might have a hard time improving on their 3-3 division mark from last season as several division games come in difficult spots on the schedule.

Pittsburgh is a team that could make a rise in the standings with improved health but there are some pieces missing from the great Steelers teams of years past. Another season teetering right on the edge of the playoffs either way is likely the result in 2013 again with the challenging road schedule ahead although this could again be a division where 10-6 is good enough to take the top spot.

Pittsburgh Steelers 2013 Schedule Numbers:
2013 Opponents Win Percentage in 2012: .492
Games vs. 2012 Playoff Teams: 7 (two home, four away, one neutral)
Miles Traveled for 8 road/neutral games: 8,585 (Includes 3,725 to London)
Back-to-Back road game sets: 2
Primetime Games: 4 (one Thursday, two Sunday night, one Monday)

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:33043 Followers:38
05/19/2013 02:48 AM

NFC East Outlook

May 14, 2013

NFC East · NFC North
AFC East · AFC North · AFC South · AFC West

The NFL draft gets all the attention in the spring, but the recent release of the 2013 schedule can be a more telling factor in how a team will fare next season. Take a look at the four teams in the NFC East this season. This group of teams will be featured heavily in primetime games as usual and another tight division race could be in store. This division has seen all four teams win a division title in the last four years and another change at the top is likely this year.

Dallas Cowboys: The Cowboys have not had a winning season since winning the NFC East in 2009 and after back-to-back 8-8 seasons in the first two years under Jason Garrett, the stakes will be high this season. Dallas will face long travel as usual this season, playing in a division with no nearby geographical rivals, but overall the Cowboys have to like how the slate has lined up this season. The East teams will have to play a strong group of NFC North squads, but drawing the AFC West should be an advantage compared with the rest of the conference. Based on win percentage from last season, Dallas will actually draw the weakest schedule in the NFC East, but none of the four teams will play a slate that collectively features a winning record from 2012. Dallas only plays three teams outside of the division that made the playoffs last season and all three of those games will be at home.

Only once will the Cowboys have to play back-to-back road games and Dallas gets a late-season bye week which could help with some of the tougher games in the final weeks. Dallas has a bye week prior to a huge game with the Giants, while New York will play Sunday night with the Packers to set up a favorable situation for the Cowboys for that game and most of the divisional match-ups will line up somewhat favorably. There are certainly some tough games ahead, but there are many winnable road games although there is a bit of an advantage to the third-place slate with St. Louis and New Orleans on the schedule. Dallas has the slate it needs to break through with a winning season, but like last year, this division could be tightly contested and it will be difficult for a Wild Card to emerge from this group. Dallas was just 4-4 at home last season and that is a mark that needs to improve for the 2013 season to go better than the past two years.

Dallas Cowboys 2013 Schedule Numbers:
2013 Opponents Win Percentage in 2012: .480
Games vs. 2012 Playoff Teams: 5 (four home, one away)
Miles Traveled for 8 road/neutral games: 9,060
Back-to-Back road game sets: 1
Primetime Games: 5 (one Thanksgiving, Three Sunday Night, one Monday)

New York Giants: The Giants went from Super Bowl champions to missing out on the playoffs with a very inconsistent 2012 season. At times, New York looked like one of the elite teams in the NFL, but the Giants lost to several marginal opponents as well. New York finished +85 in point differential last season for by far the best mark in this division and New York will be a candidate for a rebound season. Finishing second in this division instead of first leaves Atlanta and San Francisco off the schedule and the games with Seattle, Green Bay, Denver, and Minnesota will all be at home. The Giants play six games against 2012 playoff teams, but only the division game at Washington is away from home as all of the toughest games will be at the Meadowlands. Given the recent track record with the Giants often performing better away from home, that may not be a great thing, but New York was 6-2 in home games last season and just 3-5 on the road.

New York opens the season with three of the first four games on the road and this team will feature some late night travel with three Sunday night games lined up. The Giants will log some miles with a notable game out in San Diego late in the season that might be taxing as it will be a second straight road game, but New York also catches some breaks, getting Minnesota on a Monday night after playing the previous Thursday, essentially getting almost a second bye week in that situation. This is a Giants team that scored at least 35 points six times last season and the scoring potential of this squad is near the top of the league. New York was 8-4 against NFC teams last season as the Giants struggled playing the AFC North last season and getting games with the AFC West is a break this year, especially with the Denver meeting coming at home. While New York took a lot of heat for its defense last season, the Giants allowed the fewest points in this division last season and this is a team that was not far away from the playoffs and will be a threat to rise back to an elite level this year.

New York Giants 2013 Schedule Numbers:
2013 Opponents Win Percentage in 2012: .480
Games vs. 2012 Playoff Teams: 6 (five home, one away)
Miles Traveled for 8 road/neutral games: 7,999
Back-to-Back road game sets: 2
Primetime Games: 5 (one Thursday, three Sunday night, one Monday)

Philadelphia Eagles: The Eagles are coming off a 4-12 season, but with Chip Kelly moving to the NFL, Philadelphia will be an intriguing team to watch this season. This has been among the most disappointing teams in the NFL the past two seasons, but there is talent on this squad and there will be opportunities to improve on an ugly 2-10 record in NFC games and a 1-5 mark in division games. Despite being the fourth place team in this division, the Eagles will be saddled with one of the tougher slates based on getting most of the toughest games on the road. Philadelphia opens with four of the first six games of the season away from home and they will have to play a dreaded set of three straight road games early in the year. Travel to Denver and Tampa Bay is involved in that set with a short trip to New York in the middle. The benefit of having a tough road schedule is that the Eagles will only play one home game all season against a team that made the playoffs the previous year and with the fourth place slate drawing Arizona and Tampa Bay is certainly better than the alternatives.

The Eagles do have to play in Oakland and Green Bay in back-to-back weeks for more long travel, but four of the final six games of the season will be at home. The bye week is in Week 12 comes in the last possible week and a late bye week may not be favorable for a team in transition. The Eagles also will play all three divisional home games in the span of five weeks in the middle of the season, which could be a challenging emotional stretch of games. Philadelphia also has a very tough early season schedule and for a team with a new offensive scheme and a lot of new players in key spots that could lead to another rough start to the season. The Eagles certainly are capable of improving on the 4-12 mark from last season, but a big jump to playoff contention is probably a reach with a schedule that is challenging. There are no easy road games on this slate and this is an Eagles team that went just 2-6 at home last season.

Philadelphia Eagles 2013 Schedule Numbers:
2013 Opponents Win Percentage in 2012: .496
Games vs. 2012 Playoff Teams: 5 (one home, four away)
Miles Traveled for 8 road/neutral games: 9,564
Back-to-Back road game sets: 3 (including one back-to-back-to-back set)
Primetime Games: 2 (one Thursday, one Monday)

Washington Redskins: The Redskins were a great story last season led by Robert Griffin III, who as a rookie took this team to playoffs with a division title. Washington paid a price for the success, however, with Griffin needing major surgery and his health is certainly a question mark entering the season. Washington was only +48 in point differential last season despite being 10-6 and the Redskins have to play a first place schedule which means games with Atlanta and San Francisco in addition to the tough draw with the NFC North. Washington has to play the two NFC North playoff teams from last season on the road as well as traveling to Atlanta. Washington has two western trips going to Oakland and Denver this season and overall there is a lot of travel involved on this slate. Washington does get to play the Eagles in Week 1, which might be in advantage with Philadelphia in a transitional year, but a tough early game at Green Bay waits in Week 2. Washington will have an early Week 5 bye, which may not be ideal for a team that was feeling the wear and tear of the season by the time the playoffs came around last year. Washington is drawing five primetime games this season and two Monday night games will create short weeks before critical home games with Chicago and New York.

The Redskins also close the season with two very tough road games with games at Atlanta and at New York in the final three weeks. Washington has some opportunities on the schedule early in the year with five of the first six games of the season against teams that did not make the playoffs last year, but Washington draws a road game at Denver in the AFC West draw and overall this looks like the toughest slate in this division. While Washington made great strides last season, this is a team that could be in line for a fall back to the pack after winning several close games last year and benefiting from a fourth place schedule to make that jump. If Griffin has trouble staying on the field it could even turn into a severe fall for the Redskins.

Washington Redskins 2013 Schedule Numbers:
2013 Opponents Win Percentage in 2012: .498
Games vs. 2012 Playoff Teams: 5 (one home, four away)
Miles Traveled for 8 road/neutral games: 8,888
Back-to-Back road game sets: 1
Primetime Games: 5 (one Thursday, two Sunday night, two Monday)

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:33043 Followers:38
05/19/2013 11:03 AM

Why bettors should care about the NFL Top 100 players list

CBS Sports’ senior NFL columnist Pete Prisco recently ranked the Top 100 NFL players heading into the 2013 season, and football bettors can’t help but find a correlation between elite talent and winning wagers on Sundays.

The six teams with at least five players ranked in the Top 100 – San Francisco, Seattle, Denver, Atlanta, Baltimore and Tampa Bay - posted a collective 55-38-3 ATS (against the spread) count, covering the spread in 59 percent of their games last year.

The Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens were the only ones in that group to finish below .500 ATS in the regular season but went a perfect 4-0 ATS in the postseason – three of those as underdogs.

On the other end of the scale, the six teams with just one player or none ranked among the NFL elite – San Diego, Philadelphia, Tennessee, Oakland, St. Louis and Jacksonville - combined for a dismal 39-56-1 ATS record last season (41 percent ATS success).

The biggest anomaly among that group is the St. Louis Rams, who failed to have one player ranked among Prisco’s 100 best but still managed to finish 11-5 ATS in the regular season.

Prisco gave top honors to Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers but had only one more Cheesehead among the Top 100, No. 18 LB Clay Matthews. Green Bay, which went 9-7 ATS in 2012, is roped in with the likes of the Jets, Browns, Vikings and Colts as franchises with just two players in the Top 100.

Could this be a forerunner for a fall from the Packers this season? Early action on their season win total has sided with the under and has dropped that number from as high as 12 wins to 10.5 at some markets.

The best NFL bet last year, the Seattle Seahawks, boasted six players among the Top 100 – CB Richard Sherman, S Earl Thomas, QB Russell Wilson, T Russell Okung, RB Marshawn Lynch – and finished with an 11-5 ATS mark in the regular season and covered in both postseason appearances.

The team with the most players on Prisco’s list is the San Francisco 49ers, who feature eight Top-100 talents: LB Patrick Willis, LB Aldon Smith, DE Justin Smith, LB NaVorro Bowman, T Joe Staley, G Mike Iupati, QB Colin Kaepernick, WR Michael Crabtree. The Niners finished the regular season with a 9-7 ATS record and went 2-1 ATS in the playoffs.

Among the other teams with the most players ranked are the Denver Broncos (6), Baltimore Ravens (5), and Atlanta Falcons (5). Perhaps the biggest surprise is the five players placed among the Top 100 that play for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The Bucs, who went a profitable 10-5-1 ATS (7-9 SU) in 2012, have a roster highlighted by DT Gerald McCoy, CB Darrelle Revis (not with team last year), G Carl Nicks, WR Vincent Jackson, LB Lavonte David, who all ranked between No. 30 and No. 98.

Could this surplus of outstanding talent make Tampa Bay the team to watch in 2013? Oddsmakers have the Buccaneers’ season win total set at 6.5 (Over/Under -115) and they’re underdogs in nine of their first 15 games, according to the early NFL pointspreads.

Here’s how the NFL teams ranked in terms of Top-100 talents and their ATS records from the 2012 regular season:

San Francisco 49ers (8) – 9-7 ATS
Denver Broncos (6) – 10-6 ATS
Seattle Seahawks (6) – 11-5 ATS
Baltimore Ravens (5) – 6-9-1 ATS
Atlanta Falcons (5) – 9-6-1 ATS
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5) – 10-5-1 ATS
Houston Texans (4) – 9-7 ATS
New England Patriots (4) – 9-7 ATS
Dallas Cowboys (4) – 6-10 ATS
Arizona Cardinals (4) – 7-8-1 ATS
Chicago Bears (4) – 7-9 ATS
Kansas City Chiefs (4) – 5-11 ATS
Detroit Lions (3) – 6-10 ATS
Cincinnati Bengals (3) -9-6-1 ATS
New Orleans Saints (3) – 8-8 ATS
Miami Dolphins (3) – 8-8 ATS
New York Giants (3) – 7-8-1 ATS
Pittsburgh Steelers (3) – 6-9-1 ATS
Washington Redskins (3) – 11-5 ATS
Carolina Panthers (3) – 9-7 ATS
Buffalo Bills (3) – 7-9 ATS
Green Bay Packers (2) – 9-7 ATS
Minnesota Vikings (2) – 8-7-1 ATS
Cleveland Browns (2) – 8-7-1 ATS
New York Jets (2) – 7-9 ATS
Indianapolis Colts (2) – 11-5 ATS
San Diego Chargers (1) – 7-9 ATS
Philadelphia Eagles (1) – 3-12-1 ATS
Tennessee Titans (1) – 6-10 ATS
Oakland Raiders (1) – 5-11 ATS
Jacksonville Jaguars (0) – 7-9 ATS
St. Louis Rams (0) – 11-5 ATS

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:33043 Followers:38
05/21/2013 05:37 PM

San Francisco awarded Super Bowl L; Houston lands LI

The Super Bowl is headed back to the Bay Area for the first time since 1985. Houston didn't have to wait so long.
Next four Super Bowl locations
Date Host Stadium
Feb. 2014 New York/
New Jersey MetLife Stadium
Feb. 2015 Arizona University of Phoenix Stadium
Feb. 2016 San Francisco Levi's Stadium
Feb. 2017 Houston Reliant Stadium

NFL owners voted Tuesday to award Super Bowl L in 2016 to San Francisco, and the game will be played in the 49ers' new Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif. The result came as no surprise: San Francisco beat out South Florida, which had stadium issues, for the honor of hosting the 50th championship game.

"It's a testament to everybody in the Bay Area," 49ers owner Jed York told NFL Network. "The city of Santa Clara came together, obviously San Francisco stepped up for the Super Bowl; San Jose has been a big part of this, and I think you're going to see everybody from Napa all the way to Monterey step up for this. ... Sports are supposed to bring people together; they bring communities together, and nothing emphasizes that more than the Bay Area hosting Super Bowl L."

After the Super Bowl L announcement was made Tuesday at the NFL Spring Meeting in Boston, owners voted whether to award Super Bowl LI to Houston or South Florida. Houston, which hosted Super Bowl XXXVIII between the New England Patriots and Carolina Panthers in 2004, won the bid for the 2017 game.

"We had a wonderful time in 2004. ... I think we are even better prepared this time," Houston Texans owner Bob McNair told NFL Network. "It is just going to be a wonderful celebration. We just look forward to having people from all over the world come to Houston."

Winning the Super Bowl L bid helped cap a thrilling four-year run for the 49ers franchise. In 2010, Santa Clara voters approved plans for a new stadium. Coach Jim Harbaugh took over the reins of the team in 2011, swiftly bringing them back to the top of the league. Groundbreaking began on the stadium in 2012, with Levi's officially coming on board this month in a naming-rights deal.

The Bay Area has hosted only one previous Super Bowl, with Joe Montana's crew defeating Dan Marino and the Miami Dolphins 38-16 in Super Bowl XIX at Stanford Stadium. Tuesday's result had a familiar ring.

South Florida was a severe underdog to win the rights to host Super Bowl L or LI after the region failed to secure public funding for stadium upgrades.

The day's events send a clear message to cities and teams: If your stadium is out of date, you aren't going to host a Super Bowl.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:33043 Followers:38
05/22/2013 06:57 PM

Brian Urlacher announces retirement

May 22, 2013 11:12 am ET

After 13 NFL seasons, Brian Urlacher calls it a career.

The Bears and Brian Urlacher parted ways in March and now, two months later, the 13-year veteran has announced his retirement.

"After spending a lot time this spring thinking about my NFL future, I have made the decision to retire," Urlacher wrote Wednesday. "Although I could continue playing, I'm not sure I would bring a level of performance or passion that's up to my standards. When considering this, along with the fact that I could retire after 13-year career wearing only one jersey for such a storied franchise, my decision became pretty clear.

"I want to thank all the people in my life that have help me along the way," Urlacher continued. "I will miss my teammates, my coaches, and the great Bears fans. I'm proud to say that I gave all of you everything I had every time I took the field. I will miss the great game, but I leave with no regrets."

Bears linebacker Lance Briggs admitted this week that he already missed Urlacher, his teammate for the past decade.

“I didn't call the plays before and now I'm calling the plays," Briggs said via "I just have a lot of respect ... I've been spoiled for the last 10 years.”

The Bears selected Urlacher in the first round of the 2000 NFL Draft. He excelled as a hybrid linebacker-safety at the University of New Mexico and quickly became one of the NFL's best players. Urlacher earned NFC Defensive Rookie of the Year honors, was named to the 2000s All-Decade Team, AP Defensive Player of the Year (2005), and was an eight-time Pro Bowler. He retires with 939 tackles, 41.5 sacks, and 22 interceptions.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:33043 Followers:38
05/22/2013 06:59 PM

Report: 49ers WR Michael Crabtree suffers torn Achilles tendon

May 22, 2013 1:58 pm ET

Michael Crabtree, the 49ers wide receiver who was involved in the fourth-quarter Super Bowl play that could have brought a sixth championship to San Francisco, will almost certainly get no such opportunity this season. The former first-round pick suffered a torn Achilles tendon during OTAs Tuesday, according to USA Today's Mike Garafolo.

ESPN's Chris Mortensen tweeted Wednesday afternoon that Crabtree has already had surgery.

More from Garafolo: "The [source] spoke on condition of anonymity because the 49ers haven't commented on the injury, which used to be an automatic season-ender but has since become one that can sometimes be rehabbed in a matter of months -- as Baltimore Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs and Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive end Da'Quan Bowers did last year."

Crabtree, drafted 10th overall in 2009, didn't emerge as a playmaker until last season when he racked up 85 receptions for 1,105 yards and nine touchdowns. In March, he admitted that much of his success had to do with second-year quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

"I think he trusted me more," Crabtree said at the time. "It was a lot of trust. Playing wide receiver you need to have a quarterback who trusts you. And I feel like he trusted me."

With Crabtree sidelined, Kaepernick loses his favorite target. The 49ers passing game will now have to go through Mario Manningham (who was second on the team in receptions in 2012 with 42), tight end Vernon Davis (41 receptions in '12), offseason acquisition Anquan Boldin, and with the hope that 2012 first-rounder A.J. Jenkins can contribute after getting shutout last season.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:33043 Followers:38
05/24/2013 05:56 PM

LVH vs. Cantor

May 23, 2013

The Las Vegas Hotel & Casino and Cantor Gaming have both released their NFL season win totals for the 2013 campaign. Nineteen of the league’s 32 teams have the same win tally at both books, but there are more than a dozen exceptions.

The most noticeable team is Miami, which has a win total of 7.5 at LVH. However, Cantor has the Dolphins at 6.5. This is the only squad with a one-game gap offering gamblers a hedge opportunity.

In its first season under head coach Joe Philbin, Miami finished with a 7-9 straight-up record with a rookie starter at quarterback, Ryan Tannehill. The Dolphins lost veteran running back Reggie Bush to Detroit via free agency. Bush was outstanding in 2012, rushing for 986 yards and six touchdowns while also catching 35 balls for 292 yards and a pair of scores.

Miami’s splashy off-season moves include the acquisition of wide receiver Mike Wallace, who proved to be one of the NFL’ best deep threats during his years with Pittsburgh. Also, the Dolphins signed cornerback Brent Grimes and veteran offensive tackle Tyson Clabo away from Atlanta.

Grimes had a stellar 2011 season before rupturing his Achilles in Week 1 last season. Clabo, who will replace Jake Long, started 80 consecutive regular-season games for the Falcons.

Miami is hoping to get rookie production out of draft picks like OLB Dion Jordan (Oregon), CB Jamar Taylor (Boise St.), OT Dallas Thomas (Tennessee), CB Will Davis (Utah St.), OLB Jelani Jenkins (Florida) and RB Mike Gillislee (Florida).

According to the lines released by Cantor, Miami is only going to be an underdog of more than three points three times – at New Orleans (+4.5), at New England (+7) and at Pittsburgh (+3.5).

The highest win totals for non-playoff teams in 2012 belong to the Saints, Giants and Steelers. New Orleans and New York have both been assigned a win tally of nine at both LVH and Cantor. LVH has the Steelers at nine, but Cantor has them at 9.5.

The Saints get head coach Sean Payton back and there’s no reason to think his offense won’t continue to thrive under the direction of QB Drew Brees. The defense is the main issue, though, and fixing that unit is the assignment for new defensive coordinator Rob Ryan.

As usual, Pittsburgh upgraded its talent base with several solid draft picks. First, the Steelers got great value at No. 17 in the first round with the selection of Jarvis Jones, a playmaker out of Georgia who can rush the passer and has a nose for the ball. Also, Michigan St. product Le’Veon Bell will add depth to the running back position, and Oregon St. WR Markus Wheaton could make an instant impact.

The Giants will be dealing with the defections of two key players on both of their recent Super Bowl squads, DE Osi Umenyiora and PK Lawrence Tynes. They might also need to concern themselves with a possible holdout from WR Victor Cruz.

The lowest win totals for teams who did go to the playoffs last year belong to Washington (8), Minnesota (7.5 at LVH, 7 at Cantor) and Indianapolis (8.5).

The lowest overall total deservedly goes to Jacksonville (5), which has no options at QB with the franchise inexplicably sticking with Blaine Gabbert and Chad Henne.

Below is a list of all the Win Totals from LVH and Cantor, along with their 2012 records.



ARIZONA 5.5 5.5 5-11
ATLANTA 10 10 13-3
BALTIMORE 8.5 9 10-6
BUFFALO 6.5 6.5 6-10
CAROLINA 7 7 7-9
CHICAGO 8.5 8.5 10-6
CINCINNATI 8.5 8.5 10-6
CLEVELAND 6 5.5 5-11
DALLAS 8.5 8.5 8-8
DENVER 11.5 11 13-3
DETROIT 7.5 7.5 4-12
GREEN BAY 10 10.5 11-5
HOUSTON 10 10.5 12-4
INDIANAPOLIS 8.5 8.5 11-5
KANSAS CITY 7 6.5 2-14
MIAMI 7.5 6.5 7-9
MINNESOTA 7.5 7 10-6
NEW ENGLAND 11.5 11 12-4
N.Y. GIANTS 9 9 9-7
N.Y. JETS 6.5 6.5 6-10
OAKLAND 5.5 5.5 4-12
PITTSBURGH 9 9.5 8-8
ST. LOUIS 7.5 6.5 7-8-1
SAN DIEGO 7.5 7.5 7-9
SAN FRANCISCO 11.5 11 11-4-1
SEATTLE 10.5 10 11-5
TAMPA BAY 7.5 7.5 7-9
TENNESSEE 6.5 6.5 6-10

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:33043 Followers:38
05/26/2013 11:14 AM

Active players who are locks for Canton and those on the cusp

May 24, 2013 12:21 pm ET

I asked a simple question about the Hall of Fame: Which active players are locks to go to Canton right now? I surveyed as many coaches and fans that I could find heading into Memorial Day weekend and the response on my Sirius radio show was overwhelming.

Players like Terrell Owens and Randy Moss are not under contract, but are still hoping to latch on with a team, so technically they don't fit the criteria to make this list, which is strictly for active players on a roster.

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If either Owens or Moss signs, that will change. But like them or not, both wideouts are going to be in Canton one day. In regular and postseason games Owens has 1,132 receptions and 158 touchdowns. Moss has 1,036 receptions and 166 touchdowns.

A number of players are on the cusp of being a lock for the Hall of Fame but need at least one more year of excellence to convince me and, more importantly, the Hall of Fame voting committee that they deserve entry. After hours of debate and comparison of statistical data, as well as an investigation of just how prominent some players have been over their careers, here's the list of my "Already Hall of Fame Locks."

Following the list of HOF locks is a short list of players ready to join the ranks of the immortals if and when they have one more career year.
Already Hall of Fame Locks

1. Peyton Manning, QB, Denver Broncos: This is a no-brainer and statistics aren't required to make his case. But for the record 59,487 yards, 436 touchdowns, a 95.7 QB rating and 20 post season games with a Super Bowl win and 32 touchdown passes in those 20 games.

2. Tom Brady, QB, New England Patriots: Nothing has to be said for a QB who has started in five Super Bowls and has led his team to victory in three. In the regular season Brady already has thrown for 44,804 yards, 334 touchdowns and has a 96.6 QB rating. In the postseason he is 17-7 with 42 touchdown passes.

Mike Freeman

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3. Drew Brees , QB, New Orleans Saints : 5,069 yards in 2008 is a good start. Brees has 45,919 passing yards in 169 starts and 324 touchdown passes and a 94.3 QB rating. In his 5-4 postseason record he has a Super Bowl win and 22 touchdown passes. Some will debate this selection.

4. Eli Manning, QB, New York Giants: Eli will put fans on both sides of the HOF debate but for me two Super Bowl wins and two Super Bowl MVPs -- both in wins over the Patriots -- opens the door for him. On top of that, he is 8-3 in the postseason, and 7-1 in his last eight playoff games.

5. Tony Gonzalez, TE, Atlanta Falcons : There is no debate about a first ballot for Gonzalez. He is already the leading tight end in receptions (1,242) and touchdowns (103). His 1-6 post season record isn't as strong as Shannon Sharp's 13-5 record with three Super Bowl wins, but his regular season production will be enough.

6. Charles Woodson, S, Oakland Raiders: Woodson has started a combined 219 games in the regular season and postseason with 56 interceptions, 30 forced fumbles, 11 touchdowns and 18 sacks. He has also defended 200 passes. Deion Sanders had 58 interceptions and nine touchdowns but did play in 59 fewer games.

7. Larry Fitzgerald, WR Arizona Cardinals: Can you imagine what Fitzgerald's numbers would be if the Cardinals had good quarterbacks throughout his career? In 146 total games he has 806 receptions, 86 touchdowns and 101 receptions over 25 yards. Michael Irvin is in the HOF with 837 receptions, 77 touchdowns and 98 receptions over 25 yards in 23 more games than Fitzgerald.

8. Ed Reed, S, Houston Texans : Reed has 70 interceptions, 155 passes defended, 8 touchdowns, and 6 sacks. Ronnie Lott had 72 interceptions and 7 touchdowns.
Close but not yet

Adrian Peterson, RB, Minnesota Vikings : Some say Peterson falls into the category of Terrell Davis, a great player who didn't do it long enough. Davis played in 86 total games with 10,158 combined yards rushing and receiving to go with 77 touchdowns. Peterson has 93 games, 10,783 total yards and 85 touchdowns. Consider Curtis Martin got in the Hall of Fame with 18,530 total yards and 108 touchdowns in regular and postseason play.

Reggie Wayne, WR, Indianapolis Colts : Wayne may fall into the same bind that Andre Reed and Tim Brown find themselves: Receivers with great numbers who continue to miss the cut. Wayne already has 968 receptions and 78 touchdowns. There are a number of receivers enshrined in Canton who don't have those numbers.

Pass rushers: There was some sentiment for DeMarcus Ware (115 sacks), Jared Allen (121 sacks) and Dwight Freeney (117 sacks) but I reminded the contributors Kevin Greene is not in the Hall of Fame and he has 168.5 sacks in his career.
Under consideration but need more than one year

Calvin Johnson, Ben Roethlisberger, Joe Thomas and Sebastian Janikowski all fall into this category. Janikowski is up against the reality that only one kicker is in the Hall of Fame (Jan Stenerud). Janikowski has 42 field goals over 50 yards, Stenerud had 17. Janikowski has 324 field goals with an 80.6 percent success rate. Stenerud has 373 field goals at 66.8 percent.

Lastly, if you want to make a case for a player I left out or tell me why someone on the list doesn't belong, email me, tweet at me or call into my Sirius show.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:33043 Followers:38
05/27/2013 01:26 AM

Schaub, Texans begin preparation for season

May 24, 2013

HOUSTON (AP) - Matt Schaub has gotten good at tuning out criticism from those outside the organization.

Houston's quarterback doesn't have time for those opinions. Besides, even his harshest critics probably aren't as hard on him as he is on himself.

``I have higher expectations of myself than anyone could ever put on me,'' he said.

So what does he expect from himself this season? Simple. After the Texans were bounced from the postseason in the divisional round two years in a row, he is determined to help them go deeper in the playoffs and contend for a championship.

``Whenever you're not the last team standing at the end of the day, that's motivation to get back at what you've been doing and start working toward next season,'' Schaub said. ``Last year is in the past, and this is the time to get better individually and as a group, and if we all get better by a little bit, we'll be right where we want to be.''

Last season was Schaub's playoff debut after he missed Houston's first playoff run with a foot injury.

Houston's season ended with a 41-28 loss to New England. Schaub threw for 343 yards and two scores in that game, but also had an interception in the fourth quarter ending a drive which could have got Houston within a touchdown. That miscue had many fans and media blaming the quarterback for the loss.

Coach Gary Kubiak brushed off the notion that Schaub was the problem in that loss.

``We were there because of him,'' he said. ``So (criticism's) part of playing quarterback and that just makes you better and pushes you every day and he's doing fine. If you can't take a little bit of that in this business you're probably not going to last very long.''

He doesn't think that what happened last season puts any extra pressure on Schaub this year.

``I think pressure is the same all the time, I don't think it changes,'' Kubiak said. ``Matt's goal is to win a championship and we've got to get a team that can get that done and he's got his job to do with the football team.''

The Texans won a franchise-best 13 games last season. However, they had trouble celebrating the accomplishment because of a late-season collapse where they lost three of their final four regular-season games, costing them a bye and homefield advantage.

Schaub is hoping to help the team avoid a similar fate this time around.

``We played so well throughout the season, and then that last month we kind of were up and down, we had peaks and valleys and we didn't have that consistent level of play across the board,'' he said. ``Then we got to the playoffs and it was the same thing. So we've just got to be a little more consistent and when we get a team down we've got to keep them down.''

He started every game for Houston in 2012 and threw for 4,008 yards with 22 touchdowns and 12 interceptions.

This season he'll have a new weapon on a unit that already boasts running back Arian Foster and receiver Andre Johnson in first-round draft pick DeAndre Hopkins. The Texans hope that Hopkins can develop into a top-tier receiver they've long lacked to play opposite Johnson.

``He's such a dynamic player and the run after the catch, the ability to go up and get the ball; he's just going to bring an added dimension to our offense,'' Schaub said.

Schaub missed organized training activities last season while still recovering from his foot injury. He has enjoyed being on the field with his teammates this week and has been impressed with the development of some of Houston's rookies in just three days of practice.

``We've had a good start and we've just got to keep going and keep bringing the young guys along,'' he said. ``It's a fun time of year because you see young guys growing up and you see the team coming together.''

Schaub can't name one thing that he's focusing on this spring as the team begins preparations for the season, but he simply hopes to do more this year to help the team reach the next level. He won't directly say that anything less than reaching the Super Bowl would be a disappointment, but it seems that he and the rest of this team have that mindset.

``Once you get a taste of the playoff atmosphere and having some success there and not getting to your ultimate goal, you keep wanting to get back there and keep doing more,'' he said. ``So we're definitely hungry and the fire is burning pretty good.''

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs: